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Mar 16, 2010 9:38 AM by Associated Press

World's shortest man dies in Italy

A production company says the world's shortest man has died in Italy, where he was to take part in a TV show.

He Pingping, of China, who was 74.6 centimeters (2 feet, 5.37 inches) tall, died Saturday in Rome, according to the TV production company Europroduzione.

Guinness World Records says in a press release He was born in 1988 with a form of primordial dwarfism. He was officially measured in March 2008.

Marco Fernandez de Araoz of Europroduzione said Tuesday that He was taken to a hospital March 3 after he fell ill while rehearsing the Italian program "The Record Show." He died at the hospital.

Fernandez de Araoz says the hospital discovered He had a heart condition and high cholesterol. The man's body will be flown to China soon.

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